Before this week, the Yankees had not had any players to wear Alex Rodriguez‘s old No. 13 since his retirement in 2016.
Joey Gallo changed that.
Gallo is the new No. 13 in town. He did not request the number — the only one he’s worn in his seven season in the majors — but instead saw it on the placard over his locker when he got to Marlins Park Friday, his first day with his new team.
“It’s pretty cool that number was available here,” he said of the famed Yankees digits on Friday. “Growing up, obviously I was a huge Yankees fan. Derek Jeter was the number I wanted to be — No. 2 — I liked Alex Rodriguez as well, a player I tried to emulate. No. 2 was always taken, but No. 13… has always been my number.”
A day after his trade toe the Yankees was made official, Gallo is embracing the chance to compete for a World Series.
And before joining his Yankees teammates, he even shaved his beard for the first time in 10 years to comply with franchise’s storied rules.
“I literally had just gotten a haircut that day and I had the beard trimmed and everything. I think three hours later I was traded to New York,” Gallo said. “I went home and had to do it on my own. I should probably have a professional do it at some point. That is probably one of the rules when you play in New York and I don’t mind doing it.”
Gallo owns a slash line of .223/.379/.490 this season with 57 runs, six doubles, a triple, 55 RBIs, an .869 OPS and a Major League-leading 74 walks. The 27-year-old has hit 25 home runs in 2021, the sixth-most in baseball.
“We’re incredibly excited to add two players that we feel like are really going to help us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday. “Hopefully people are talking about what a tremendous all-around player we’re getting [in Gallo]. A really good athlete: a guy that runs the bases, has some speed, that’s a really good defender in the outfield. The tremendous patience and power that he has … we’re excited to add an All-Star.”
Gallo – a two-time All-Star – is under team control through the 2022 season. And it is clear he is excited to be a Yankee.